I noticed something that was said on another thread, and it's off the topic of the particular thread, so I'm giving it a spot of its own.
I think that's the source of a lot of our problems when it comes to race – ignorance of others' feelings as well as pent-up hurt feelings that need to get out.
Those are very intelligent words, and I believe they go beyond the issue of race. They can probably be applied to every disagreement between any two people anywhere on the planet.
How do people ignore someone else's feelings? Here are just a few ways. You can probably think of others:
- tell them that they are "over-reacting" when they express being upset over something said or done - the message you are sending is that their thoughts and feelings are not valid and not welcome
- beat them down with insults and personal attacks when they discuss their feelings
- assume that their motives are bad and then say so, without giving them a chance to be heard
- chase them out of conversations with personal attacks, merely because their opinions differ from our own
Where do pent-up hurt feelings come from? Here are just a few ways. You can probably think of others:
- being told that you are "over-reacting" when you express being upset over something said or done - the message you are receiving is that your thoughts and feelings are not valid, somehow wrong and not welcome
- being beaten down with insults and personal attacks when you discuss your feelings
- having bad motives ascribed to you and then being told so, without being given an opportunity to be heard
- being chased out of conversations with personal attacks, merely because your opinions differ from theirs
We're all grown-ups here. There is no need to discount each other's opinions and feelings and personal experience. We all have different perspectives on situations, based on how we experience and perceive the world around us.
Let's try to honor and respect that part of each other that is unique and special to the person. Check your words for anything that might make the person you are addressing feel attacked or invalidated. If you find something like that, see if your message can be delivered in a way that respects them and their feelings.
If you can't do that, if your personality clash is so beyond repair that you simply cannot talk to someone without baiting them or attacking them or ascribing bad motives to them, try to find the inner strength to NOT GO THERE. Boycott them. Do not respond to their threads or posts. Do not even read their posts. You'll both save each other a lot of grief.
If you've hurt someone in this way, even unintentionally, the kind thing to do would be to offer a sincere apology. You don't always have to be right.